Costly cuts

Dear Editor:As someone who has worked with patients and their caregivers in an Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) program for many years and understands how vitally important this program is in the community, the Governor's budget outlined on Jan. 10 includes the complete elimination of the Medi-Cal Adult Day Health Care program throughout the state. Closing Rancho Adult Day Services ADHC here in Downey will be a travesty and tremendous loss for this community as well as others throughout the state! ADHC programs, licensed by the State Department of Public Health, are designed to provide coordinated medical and therapeutic services to help the frail seniors and medically complex disabled adults remain at home as long as is possible. ADHC is a comprehensive program that offers a caring compassionate and supportive environment for this population and their caregivers. Rancho Adult Day Services/ADHC program, which is located on the grounds of Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, has a lengthy history of providing ADHC programming to the Downey community and surrounding areas for nearly 23 years. Elimination of ADHC will result in the following: For the ADHC patient: *Loss of coordinated medical and therapeutic services *More ER visit/hospital admissions *Forced to move to a nursing home *Threatens universal desire to live in your own home for as long as possible For the family caregiver of the ADHC patient: *Loss of job to care for loved one *Caregiver burnout from 24/7 care *Loss of medical oversight to prevent small problem from turning into costly medical crises. Elimination of ADHC is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and will embroil the state in costly lawsuits. For ADHC providers: *Cutting ADHC does not help the state budget crisis -- it makes it worse: No more federal government match to fund 50% of the program. Another small business gone, more workers unemployed, more drain on the local, state and federal tax base. Eliminating ADHC does not eliminate the patients' need for ongoing medical and therapeutic services. ADHC meets a real assessed need for medical and therapeutic services and prevents or delays shifting taxpayer dollars to more expensive settings -- ERs, hospital admissions, nursing facilities -- for these medically fragile seniors and medically complex disabled adults. ADHC is a bargain for state taxpayers. At $38 a day in state funds, matched by the feds, ADHC is at least five times less costly to the state than placing these patients into nursing facilities. Elimination of ADHC is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and will embroil the state in costly lawsuits. The only comparable alternative service is a nursing facility. -- Pat Bedes, Program Director Rancho Adult Day Services

********** Published: February 03, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 42